Early goals cost Lady Panthers
By Brandon Miniard, Sports Writer, [email protected]
While the Corydon Central girls’ soccer team has grown in strength during the past couple of seasons, Silver Creek is one obstacle the Lady Panthers have yet to overcome.
In 2021, when the Lady Panthers posted a 9-3-1 record, two of those losses came at the claws of the Lady Dragons. The first came in a 3-1 regular season defeat that helped the Lady Dragons clinch their second straight Mid-Southern Conference title. The next came in the semifinals of the Madison sectional, where the Lady Dragons shut out the Lady Panthers 3-0 to end their season.
Fast forward a year later and the Lady Panthers found themselves playing host to the Class 2A No. 10 Lady Dragons, with a share of the MSC title once again on the line. Despite playing a strong defense in the second half, a pair of first-half goals helped the Lady Dragons soar to a share of their third consecutive conference crown as they shut out the Lady Panthers 2-0.
The opening goal came almost eight minutes into the match when the Lady Dragons’ Makayla Doherty set up Carsyn Sidebottom for a shot that slowly rolled past Lady Panthers’ senior goalkeeper Maddison Franks.
The visitors added insurance in the 38th minute when a Lady Panthers’ penalty set up a free kick for the Lady Dragons’ Carly Troutman. Troutman’s shot found purchase, avoiding the outstretched arms of Franks before tickling the twine of the upper left corner of the goal, giving the Lady Dragons’ a 2-0 edge heading into halftime.
“Silver Creek’s got a great program, they’ve got two great players in (Sidebottom) and (Troutman) and we knew what they brought to the table,” Lady Panthers’ skipper Pat Clarke said. “We tried to shut them down, and those were the two that put up their two goals. We just made a couple of mistakes, and they capitalized on that, which is what a good team does.”
That was all the scoring the Lady Dragons needed, as a number of the Lady Panthers’ shots on goal found their way into the waiting arms of Lady Dragons’ goalkeeper Emma Wilcoxson. The Lady Panthers had nine total shots on goal before watching the Lady Dragons hoist the MSC trophy on their home field.
With their eyes now turned to sectional, Clarke expects to see the Lady Dragons in Saturday’s championship game. The Lady Dragons will have to get through the first two rounds, while the Lady Panthers got picked on the short end of the bracket, facing Salem in the second of two semi-final rounds. The Lady Panthers defeated the Lady Lions 5-0 during the regular season.
“Hopefully, we get a shot at them in sectional,” Clarke said. “It is what it is, kind of a letdown right now that we couldn’t bring home the (MSC) trophy, but we gotta pick ourselves up. These girls battle and grind, and there’s no doubt in my mind that they’ll be ready for the postseason now.”
The Lady Panthers will face the Lady Lions tomorrow (Thursday) at 7:30 p.m. at Scottsburg.